Tag: ADSL2+

Sebastopol construction

The first thing that comes to mind when I try to describe the Sebastopol central office is “cute”. It reminds me of Sonic.net’s old datacenter; crowded, small, but with purpose. It’s a plucky little CO.

Yesterday we began the installation process in Sebastopol for our next generation products: FlexLink for medium sized businesses and enterprise and Fusion for small business and home. The first cabinet went in (low ceiling!), and the drilling has begun. Two holes down this afternoon, two to go.

We should be bolted down tomorrow, then equipment rack-in, power turn-up, and copper termination. The last part will probably take the longest, as we are pre-building a lot of copper capacity, and it is all done by hand.

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Next generation product pricing

Fusion Bundle Logo Concept

Fusion Bundle Logo Concept

As discussed previously, we have been working for some time toward the launch of new next generation products. As we get nearer deployment, some of the details are firming up.

First, bundling. This is a hot topic – some customers really like bundles, and some really do not. We believe in providing as many options as we can, so our next generation products will be available both with and without other services bundled. Of note, you do NOT need to have a voice telephone service for these products, and in fact at this point our initial offering does not include voice. The voice offering is likely to arrive sometime late this year.

Second, a name. Our current tentative name for the family of products is “Fusion”. Maybe that’s “Sonic.net Fusion Broadband Internet”, or “Fusion: Next Generation Products”, etc – it’s a working concept at this point. The Fusion concept encompasses all of the products that will be available. If we stick with this name, the product is likely to have an atom logo, where each electron in orbit represents an additional bundled product. Opt for broadband only, or add in voice, TV, or mobile. Each adds a ring to the orbit.

Finally and most important, pricing. Here are the initial launch products and prices. Note that these are standalone, delivered on a dedicated copper pair, so unlike today’s DSL, you don’t need to have a voice line and associated costs.

(Note, pricing updated and current as of 8/26/2009, reductions noted with strikethrough. -DJ)

Residential locations, dynamic IP:

  • 1.5Mbps/1Mbps $35/mo
  • 3Mbps/1Mbps $40/mo
  • 6Mbps/1Mbps $45/mo
  • 10 12Mbps/1Mbps $65/mo $50/mo
  • 18Mbps/1Mbps $80/mo $55/mo

Residential locations, 8 static IPs:

  • 1.5Mbps/1Mbps $55/mo
  • 3Mbps/1Mbps $60/mo
  • 6Mbps/1Mbps $70/mo
  • 10 12Mbps/1Mbps $90/mo $75/mo
  • 18Mbps/1Mbps $105/mo $80/mo

Business locations, dynamic IP:

  • 1.5Mbps/1Mbps $45/mo
  • 3Mbps/1Mbps $50/mo
  • 6Mbps/1Mbps $70/mo $60/mo
  • 10 12Mbps/1Mbps $90/mo $70/mo
  • 18Mbps/1Mbps $105/mo $80/mo

Business locations, 8 static IPs:

  • 1.5Mbps/1Mbps $55/mo
  • 3Mbps/1Mbps $60/mo
  • 6Mbps/1Mbps $80/mo $75/mo
  • 10 12Mbps/1Mbps $100/mo $85/mo
  • 18Mbps/1Mbps $115/mo $100/mo

Bundling offers the opportunity to drive costs downward – for example, adding voice service (when available) reduces the monthly cost of both products by a combined total of $20/mo. Adding television saves another $10/mo. At this time, bundle savings for adding mobile have not been set.

Product speeds are tiered based upon the capabilities of the loop itself. So for example, the max downstream speed of the 6/1Mbps product is between 4-6Mbps, the 10/1 between 7-10Mbps, 18/1, 11-18Mbps. Maximum speed is based upon the line’s electrical capability to carry ADSL2+ data. This rate of speed will be faster than legacy ADSL1 would be for the same CO based loop.

For customers near downtown Santa Rosa, these products will be available in just a couple weeks. About ten additional cities plus expanded Santa Rosa coverage will arrive in the coming months.

Oh, and yes, the free clip art atom that I’ve used here has one too many electrons in orbit. The max would be four. Broadband, voice, TV and mobile.

Sonic.net moves into fast lane

Nathan PatrickPhoto: Scott Manchester / PD

There’s an article in the Press Democrat today about Sonic.net’s expansion as a telecommunications and access provider.

This is a project we’ve been working on for over two years now, and Santa Rosa is just the first of many areas where service will be available. Businesses near downtown Santa Rosa can get on board now, with residential service to follow.

Read the full article now at PressDemocrat.com.

FlexLink Product Launch

Our new FlexLink business Internet access products were launched this week. I’ll blog a bit of a sales pitch here, because I am real excited about the new technology behind the products.

These are the first products built on our new next generation network. Currently available in Santa Rosa, the FlexLink products will be expanding through much of Sonoma County and parts of the Bay Area over the remainder of the year.

For business customers, FlexLink offers some amazing new products and price points. Today, many businesses use reliable symmetrical T1 lines to serve their Internet access needs, with a cost that’s typically $300 to $500 per month. Our new FlexLink T1 product has pricing from just $249/mo. That’s a tidy little savings, but what’s even more exciting is that our FlexLink Dual-T1 is just $299/mo! That’s double the bandwidth for less than the cost of a typical single T1. Today’s business has more bandwidth needs, and single T1 just isn’t enough. Dual-T1 offers a full 3.0Mbps in both directions, which is a nice size for small work groups.

But the reality is that many businesses need even more bandwidth. With home DSL and cable exceeding the inbound (but not outbound) speed of T1 and Dual-T1 configurations, it’s probably time to consider faster access.

The entry level T1 and Dual-T1 products are interesting and cost effective, but our 5Mbps, 7.5Mbps and 10Mbps Ethernet links are even more exciting. With pricing from $499/mo, $599 and $699/mo, it makes more sense than ever to simply connect the business LAN to our LAN with FlexLink Ethernet! Growing bandwidth needs make 10mbps symmetric today what T1 1.5Mbps service was for businesses five or six years ago. Today’s larger Internet applications and the need for snappy Internet performance requires fast connections.

We haven’t yet set firm pricing for higher speeds, but there’s really no reason to stop at 10Mbps on FlexLink. It’s possible to deliver speeds of 30 to 40Mbps on our FlexLink Ethernet platform – so there’s room to grow. Then, our FlexLink Fiber Ethernet products step in, with speeds of 50, 100, and onward.

In asymmetric products, FlexLink ADSL2+ provides more inbound bandwidth for businesses that don’t send as much data to the Internet. With pricing from $129 to $169, and speeds from 8Mbps/1Mbps to 15Mbps/1Mbps, FlexLink ADSL2+ is a great upgrade from old ADSL1 technology for businesses.

More product info and sales contacts can be found here: http://www.sonic.net/sales/flexlink/

30Mbps to Tye’s house

Our team today turned up pair bonded ADSL2+ to Tye C’s place. Tye works in tech support, and happens to live a little over one mile of copper wire away from the Santa Rosa downtown central office. And tonight, Tye is rocking 30Mbps of downstream bandwidth on two simple copper pairs. Nice work guys!

The loops to the house are each running about 15Mbps sync. The maximum sync that ADSL2+ can deliver is 24Mbps. But like ADSL1, which can do 8Mbps, in the real world we expect a slightly lower level. In ADSL1, the maximum practical speed is generally 6Mbps for most locations, and for ADSL2+, I think we’ll be real happy if we see 20Mbps as the top end in the real world. The 15Mbps speed that Tye’s got is likely to be more common.

This makes bonding even more interesting. Every home has at least two “phone lines” – we can deliver voice lines on both of them (main home line, second line for home office or FAX perhaps), plus bonded IP at 2x the ADSL2+ sync. That means some serious bandwidth potential for our business and residential users.

I’ll caution that we haven’t yet designed product specifications and price points for residential users at this speed, but the technology does work. The business model is a separate question.

Next generation broadband technical resources

For folks interested in some of the technical details of the new solutions we are deploying, here are some links:

ADSL2+: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ITU_G.992.5

ADSL2+M: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ITU_G.992.5_Annex_M

EFM: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethernet_in_the_first_mile

Our current deployment can support bonding of up to two pairs of ADSL2+, and up to eight pairs using EFM. You can do the math. =)

ADSL2+ running 16Mbps

This loop is a bit over one mile long (~5500ft). Downstream sync is 16Mbps, upstream sync at 1.1Mbps. This is served out of the Santa Rosa 01 (downtown) central office, from our new DSLAM deployment there.

ADSL2+ Speed Test

Click for larger, more legible image.

CLEC Update

Nathan and his team are have been making very good progress on our CLEC deployment. As a certified public utility in California, and a competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC), Sonic.net and is working toward deployment of equipment to serve next generation broadband products.

These products include traditional services such as 1.5Mbps T1, plus advanced services like ADSL2+ and VDSL2. We’ve even got some exciting new products based upon E-SHDSL (we pronounce it “E-Schnitzel” here around the office) that allow delivery of over 5Mbps symmetric (down and upstream) per pair at reasonably short distances. This allows delivery of Internet at 10Mbps (Ethernet speed) on as few as two pairs for business locations. Up to eight pairs can be bonded to deliver T3 speed (45Mbps). ADSL2+ can in theory provide up to 24Mbps downstream on just one pair – compare to today’s ADSL, at only 8Mbps theoretical maximum.

The last six months have seen some important milestones, and it’s very exciting to see the tangible progress.

As a CLEC, colocation in the telco central office (the ugly building in the middle of every town) allows for interconnection between copper to you, and the equipment that serves these new access technologies on that copper. We received access to our first colocation CO in late December. After nearly two years of paperwork, it was great to finally walk into the physical outcome – the somewhat dated interior of a building that was constructed to withstand a nuclear blast not too far away.

Our colocation cage space is just what it sounds like – a cage. It’s a walled off space built from a sort of telco industrial fencing material. While we’re not allowed to take photographs in a central office, here’s a snapshot of a typical type of cage that’s representative:

Colocation Cage

I can’t overstate the importance of this CLEC initiative for Sonic.net. Our ability to deliver innovative high speed products is critical to our future, and I’m very happy to see it coming along.

The next few weeks will see DSLAM equipment build out into the colocation space. This space is empty, so this means installation of ironwork – racks to hold the equipment – plus DSLAMs and other electronic equipment.

Even installation of the racks is a bit complex – we had to have staff attend training on “how to drill a hole”, and there’s a even special sized hammer drill bit that was rather tough to obtain. The training is mandatory for us to do our own construction in the central office – Santa Rosa’s main CO’s concrete flooring is “likely to contain asbestos”. No fooling. So, drilling a hole really is a bit complex, involving shaving cream (you guessed it – to capture the concrete powder and “likely asbestos”), some napkins (to capture the shaving cream), and a number of zip-lock baggies. The baggies are then tagged with our training certification data, and disposed of as hazardous waste.

Once we get the racks in, the DSLAMs and other equipment will be placed. Finally, we begin testing on copper loops to various locations around Santa Rosa. I will make postings about our progress from time to time.